Agawi reveals GameZen app for Windows 8 devices

Cloud gaming service Agawi announced today its new Windows 8 GameZen app that offers developers and publishers the ability to bring their social games, web-based games and more to Windows 8 computers and x86 tablets. GameZen will allow developers to bring their games to Microsoft’s new Surface devices “soon.”

“What GameZen allows publishers and developers to do is literally take their existing games such as Facebook social games, web-based MMOs, pretty much all categories of games, and instantly make them available in a market that comprises potentially of hundreds of millions of users,” Agawi CEO and co-founder Rajat Gupta told Inside Mobile Apps.

He added that “Practically any Facebook game for example, should be available on GameZen. Think about even larger titles like Empires and Allies to small titles that are more niche.”

There’s no cost for developers and publishers to get their games on Agawi. Also, developers and publishers don’t need to do anything at all in regards to adding touch controls to their games for GameZen on mobile, it’s all handled by Agawi’s automated real-time gesture virtualization, which ads multi-touch gestures to games where it wasn’t present.

Started in February 2010 as a YouWeb incubated company called iSwifter that streamed flash-based social games to the iPad, the company renamed itself to Agawi in August 2012 and pivoted its business to focus on mid-core and hardcore games.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced Tuesday at its Build conference that Windows 8 sold four million copies since launch and that there are currently 670 million PCs running Windows 7. Using Ballmer’s figures to make his point, Gupta says the potential for Windows 8 is huge and believes consumers will eventually convert over from Windows 7 to Windows 8. He adds that GameZen is an effective way for game developers and publishers to reach the large Windows audience.

“For a publisher to take their existing web-based game, and instantly without having to invest any incremental dollars into it, make it available on a new platform is huge value add.”

The Menlo Park, Calif,-based game streaming startup announced back in September its partnership with Microsoft to bring its game streaming service to Windows 8 devices, which will utilize Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform to stream games to Windows 8 devices including computers, tablets and eventually smartphones. Some of Agawi’s cloud gaming service competitors include OnLive and Sony’s Gaikai.

In an effort to attract more mid-core and massively multiplayer online (MMO) developers to bring their games to Windows 8, the company set up the Agawi Game Partner (AGP Gold) Program. Agawi rewarded developers who signed up early by featuring their games in GameZen. Gupta couldn’t mention any games, developers or publishers for GameZen at this time.

GameZen is available for free in the Windows 8 Store starting today. As of right now, the app doesn’t monetize, but Gupta says Agawi will work with their development and publishing partners to figure out the appropriate way to monetize.

Agawi has only received a “very small” seed round of funding from unnamed Silicon Valley angel investors and funding from YouWeb Incubator, according to Gupta. The rest of Agawi’s funding has come from its own revenue to finance itself up to this point.

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